Chana Perman

They pray with different books

Those ones
who don’t quite behave in the synagogue
nor sit quietly next to mommy
dutifully nibbling raisins from mini zip lock bag

Those ones
who shriek with relish
pilfering tea biscuits
from the beckoning basket
of a glistening Inglesina
drunkenly dashing off
a trail of crumbs in their wake

Those ones

who pull at the pom poms
of the Rebbetzin’s purple poncho
with prying powdery fingers

ignoring the shh’s
during Shemona Esrei
crying and trying
to climb into the Aron Kodesh

Those ones

They pray with different books
in the language of flailing limbs
and sighing bystanders

A lolly? Cookies?


No thanks– actually thanks

Mine was waaaaaaay worse
You shoulda seen him
He had us dancing on the ceiling
She will give you nachat one day

I promise

He was?
And you danced?
She will. She does
One day. Every day

They will. And do.

“As for me, may my prayer unto You, O G-d

Be in a time of grace,

O G-d, in the abundance of your mercy,

Answer me in the truth of Your Salvation.”

PSALMS 69:14

About the Author
Chana holds an M.S. in Special Education. Her innovative poems, essays and lectures reflect two and a half decades of experience working with students of all ages and abilities. Chana's writing has been published on, as well as in The Canadian Jewish News, The Jewish Press, and AMI. As a longtime volunteer with the Friendship Circle, Chana was recognised by the Ontario Legislature for “bringing a smile to the faces of children with special needs.” Although Chana 's "heart is in the east" she currently lives with her with her family in Toronto.
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